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Quick-fire Q&A with Harriet Evans

When I was a child I wanted to be…

An actress in musicals, ideally either Maria in The Sound of Music or Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls. Still do, in fact!

The moment that changed me forever…

I don’t remember it, but probably my dad’s car accident when I was nine months old. I think our family would have been very different if it hadn’t happened, for worse as well as better as some good things do come out of terrible events.

My greatest inspiration…

 … is rereading books I’ve loved that remind me why I absolutely adore what I do and why I want to write and how I can try to be better all the time.

At night I dream of…

I don’t really dream, or I don’t remember them anyway. I dream during the day instead!

The shop I can’t walk past…

Junk shops that sell anything and everything. I’m a sucker for a collapsible wooden tea tray or a miniature dog’s head in plaster that can be hung on the wall.

The best invention ever…

Disposable nappies. Thank you, faceless inventor of the disposable nappy, from parents around the world.

If I have time to myself…

I’m a writer! I have nothing but time to myself all day and it’s terrible! I am so weird to the first person I see when I leave the house after a day alone and often freak them out with my over-chattiness and TMI sharing… Have you seen my mole? Have you ever eaten a whole wedge of cheese before? Do you like my hair like this? I miss having people to chat to.

My house is…

Tall and thin with lots of stairs. And no cupboards. Except the horizontal ones also known as ‘floors’.

My most valuable possession is…

Aside from my family, if the house was burning down I’d rescue two books: my first editions of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. I think the first one actually belongs to my mum and I should give it back to her now in case of hypothetical fire.

My favourite building…

The cottage we stayed in on Frenchman’s Creek in Cornwall. Not only was it by the Helford, and the most beautiful spot in the world, it was very mysterious and you felt at any time you might actually walk past a crumbling house lost in the mists of time, and it helped me enormously to write The Butterfly Summer.

Favourite children’s book is…

Impossible to pick one but I loved book series: Veronica at the Wells, anything by Noel Streatfeild, C.S. Lewis and last year I read Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson which has to be up there.

My favourite film is…

Four Weddings and a Funeral. Perfect script, acting, concept, everything. In fact, the perfect film in my humble opinion. (Apart from ‘is it still raining…?’).

My guilty pleasure is…

Such a cliché but since I had my daughter I have such a sweet tooth and it’s terrible. I have a secret stash of chocolates.

Harriet Evans new novel THE BUTTERFLY SUMMER is out 19th May. Find out more about what to expect here

 

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